Sunday August 10
Attenborough Nature Reserve and the Canal
There are a lot of places of interest around Long Eaton and in the shires generally. Last Sunday we visited the Attenborough Nature Reserve (not named after Richard Attenborough but named after the community in which it is located between Long Eaton and Nottingham). This area now 250ha in size started as a gravel pit and dumping ground for the fly ash from the nearby power station. It is now Britain’s second largest and second most popular nature reserve with over 50 species of bird living / visiting the water ways created by the extraction of gravel and return of the surface clays to create the ponds. There are long walks through the reserve and a conservation centre with information on the site. We took a free guided tour through part of the reserve and here are some of our photos.
Photo of the centre and our walk.
Within 100m of our flat is the Erewash Canal. Built in 1776 by a consortium of local merchants (collieries brick works and engineering workshops) it was the transport for all of the produce of the area until the railway started in 1846. It is approx. 13 miles long and joins the River Trent which flows to the North Sea. The locals chipped in 100 pounds each to cover the cost of 23,000 pounds to build and the cost came in under budget. There are 9 locks along its course raising the height of the canal 109 feet.
After the railways were developed the canals gradually lost commercial value and fell into disrepair. In 1969 the community formed a preservation group to restore the canal for recreational purposes. Today there is a fabulous walk down to the River Trent and there is a variety of wildlife and hedgerows along the way (about one and one half hour round trip flat to the pub [not allowing drinking time] and back). The canal is full of swans with their goslings and many other water fowl. It is also home to a canal boat industry with many variety of boat and industry supporting the boats along the canal. Here is a collage of the scenes I have viewed on my walk.
Date August 5
Long Eaton Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire
Long Eaton is a town in Derbyshire but lies just north of the River Trent about 7 miles south-west of Nottingham and is part of the Nottingham urban area but not part of the city itself. Long Eaton is referred to in the Doomsday Book as Aitone and is located at the lowest bridging point of the River Erewash. In 1228 the town gained the “Long” prefix due to the length of the town. In 1694 “the Great Fire of Long Eaton” destroyed 14 houses and several other buildings. The town developed around lace making with many old lace factories abandoned or converted in the town. It also had a railway wagon industry. (Source Wikipedia)
These industries were probably the influence for the construction of the Erewash canal which runs immediately behind our flat building.
One of the notable buildings in town is the Parish Church of St Laurence which local tradition dates from the 11th century (built by King Cnut) but it is more likely 12th century Norman. It is now overlooked by the eyesore Tesco Extra behemoth. There is some surprising architecture in town including the old Glitter and Dance UK headquarters at Harrington Mill built in 1885 with one and a quarter million bricks and is 167 meters long. There is also some pretty ordinary architecture from the 60’s and 70’s.
Our flat is in an old mill converted to the use and has retained its original chimney.
Photo of the building, entrance gates and chimney along with
• St Laurence Parish Church,
• The monstrosity Tesco store,
• Its companion ASDA,
• The old cinema showing some of the more acceptable 60’s architecture,
• The beautiful flower beds in the Main St,
• the High St which has been decimated by Tescoe and ASDA